Traditionally, mullein was used in the treatment of various inflammatory diseases and lung-related ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, and tuberculosis. It also serves as a natural painkiller and a cure for earaches and headaches. For centuries, its leaves and honey-scented flowers have been made into teas and tinctures to treat nearly anything, ranging from soothing respiratory and digestive complaints to fighting anxiety, stress, and insomnia.
In topical applications, mullein poultices can be applied to reduce swelling and treat a variety of skin conditions such as rashes, burns, blisters, cuts, or skin infections. Next to its skin soothing effects, it will also speed up the wound healing process more rapidly than most drugs. Some people have even used mullein’s soft woolly leaves as toilet paper, bandages, torches, or shoe soles.
Next to its medicinal uses, mullein also contains decent amounts of many essential nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamins of the B-complex, vitamin E, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Drinking a cup of antioxidant-rich mullein tea can boost bone health and increase absorption of calcium. Furthermore, mullein tea has shown to regulate hunger cravings to facilitate weight loss and provides nearly all the magnesium your body needs to function properly.
Mullein is an easy-to-grow biennial plant with small yellow flowers that can grow up to three meters tall. While they love the sun, mullein plants do well in a wide range of habitats.
While mullein is generally well tolerated by most people, it can sometimes cause contact dermatitis or irritate the throat because of the tiny hairs covering the leaves. Children and pregnant or breastfeeding women, however, should avoid drinking mullein tea without a prior consultation with their doctor.
Furthermore, if you have diabetes or take diuretics, antiplatelet drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen or naproxen) or medicines that thin the blood (such as aspirin, coumadin, warfarin, heparin), mullein may cause serious adverse side effects. If you are taking any of these, talk to your healthcare provider first.
Finally, some mullein varieties contain high levels of coumarin and rotenone, which can be toxic to humans if consumed in large amounts. For the same reason, mullein seeds should NEVER be consumed. They contain very high levels of the harmful and toxic substance rotenone which may cause severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea, convulsions, or vomiting.
While mullein tea has some side effects to be aware of, due to its strong anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects this natural plant can be super beneficial to your overall health. Before taking mullein tea, oil, or extract on a daily basis for medicinal purposes, consult your trusted healthcare provider for more information and advice.
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